What Happened to Cleve's CA Promises?;
Is 2010 Repeal Dead?
That loud noise you hear across the gay blogosphere, see here and here, over the departure of Kip Williams and Robin McGehee as co-directors of Cleve Jones' march on DC and the group that sprang from it, Equality Across America, needs to echo really loudly in California.
Out here, for most of the past 10 months, we've seen Rick Jacobs' Courage Campaign, with which Cleve has been closely allied, taking bold leadership holding summits, conducting training camps, staging rallies, and strong promises to deliver a few things.
Cleve and Courage are supposedly right now leading us toward a 2010 ballot proposition to repeal Prop 8, and they're also allegedly doing this:
EQUALITY TEAMS: 25 teams in 15 counties are contacting voters every weekend. Courage plans to expand into all 58 counties in the next 18 months.If the Courage leaders are actually doing any heavy lifting on the 2010 repeal or their more than two-dozen teams in California actually exist and are active, I'd like to know about it. It's necessary to point out the failure of Cleve and crew to develop 25 teams, because they also didn't create the promised 435 captains for each Congressional district.
Wanna check up on some of Courage's grand plans of all the organizing and results they're gonna deliver for us Golden State gays? Click here for the history. Lemme know what you think they've accomplished this year. Sure, Rick Jacobs has harvested hundreds of thousands of emails and alleges he has 700,000 members, but I'd like to see concrete examples of clear accomplishments that directly benefited the larger community.
I'm sick of being told it's enough that X number showed up at San Francisco Civic Center for post-Supreme Court decision rally, or were at Fresno's Meet in the Middle, or made it to DC for the October 11 march and rally in DC. I'm tired of being told by Gay Inc they've got armies and teams, and so little achieved.
We need a vibrant and functional network that applies constant and un-glamorous pressure - emails, paper letters, phone calls - on politicians. And a network that we set, and accomplish, small and do-able goals, while also organizing in a transparent manner. Can anyone point to a single open and public meeting, for all to attend, held by Cleve before or after his march?
At the end of September, Cynthia Laird of the Bay Area Reporter editorialized on the mess facing California gays, and her words can easily be applied to the situation today with Cleve and his Equality Across America group, starting with the headline, Following in Failed Footsteps:
By almost every measure, the nascent campaign to repeal Proposition 8 in 2010 has shown that it's not ready for prime time. [...]Disorganization and disaster. Two words that seem to sum up much of the efforts by California gays this past year. Let's hope Maine gives us a win and a glimmer of hope.
Last month, at a news conference following an organizing meeting, the [coalition of groups working for repeal] adopted a plan to divide the state into regions; but local members of the interim leadership team didn't want to reveal those regions to the press. [...]
Can these guys at least get a clue?
Secondly, there are mixed signals coming from the Courage Campaign, which at last report favored a return to the ballot next year. Now an official from that group says that it is not joining an effort to submit ballot language this week. This apparent disorganization can only spell disaster as more time will be wasted to address these shortcomings in the limited time before November 2010. [...]
It's really sad that such a potentially great organization that EAA was aspiring to be could be leveled by an old man (Cleve) falling for a cocktail waiter (Effinger) who reminded him of himself 30 years ago.
It was always the Cleve Jones show. And now the last act should very well be focused on him and his failure at leadership. He could never lead anyone since it's always about Cleve.
He refused to instill any organizational structure. Why? Because he wanted everything ran by him. Effinger saw an opportunity and took it.
As for CA and 2010 - what of it? It won't go far. And Courage Campaign desperately wants out. When it realized that it stood alone with a few grassroots "organizations" that were made up of two or three individuals each, they knew they were screwed.
Sad that we gays will continue to be our own worst enemy.
If you want to know how the Restore Equality 2010 campaign is organized, all you have to do is go to restoreeuqlity2010.com. There are 10 regions and that information has been public since August 29 when more than 80 organizations from across California met in San Francisco to plan for the coming campaign. The plan they adopted is a matter of public record. Regional representatives have been elected to lead the signature gathering efforts. They are meeting in San Diego on November 14 and 15. Quoting one uninformed person may help reinforce your theme but the assertion that the regions are somehow a secret is just plain wrong. Can people in this community get over themselves for even one minute and start fighting for our community instead of their own egos?
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